Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 2 in Malaysia- Romping at Genting

Up in the Clouds


Deft Hands at Work
Day 2 of my Malaysia trip has still remained unrecorded. Indolence reared its ugly head, but no more. Here we go.
Our hired van took us from KL to the Genting Highlands, about an hour and a half from the city, a drive up winding roads into lush, green hills. Swathes of white cloud rested on the thickly forested slopes as we made our way up to the theme park, perhaps the heart of Genting. Our first halt was at a chocolate shop, where we secured 'supplies' of a few varieties to carry us through the day. We then drove up to the spot from where we had to take a cable car to the theme park. This was one truly marvellous ride, acres of rainforest stretching out far beneath us, mysterious and sinister as the cable car trembled and hobbled its way up. Beyond a point, all that was visible was a white wall of cloud, impenetrable to the eye, but just a misty sheath which the multicoloured capsules cut through with ease.
We alighted at a sprawling complex consisting of a mall, casinos and the theme park. We went down a number of escalators, followed directions, lost our way- but soon enough, we reached the gates of the theme park. People everywhere- it was like a carnival in progress, a festival of sorts. A quiet current of excitement reverberated through the air.
At the theme park, we split- not all of us had the stomach for rollercoasters and large swings that seemed to put to full use the principles of centrifugal and centripetal force. Two of the girls and I chose to while our time away at the stalls, trying our luck at the games, winning the smallest possible prizes, brazenly envying kids who carried away the large dolphins and rabbits. To break the monotony, we went on one or two of the rides- actually meant for kids, and where the only adults were the parents chaperoning them. Embarrassment has long become a thing of the past.
Up on the hills, the weather was lovely. Clouds drifted like smoke and we actually felt ourselves walking through them, felt their subtle touch on skin and clothes. I'll never forget what a beautiful day it was if I live to be a hundred, the damp clinging to our clothes and hair, walking aimlessly amidst throngs of people amusing themselves, a carefree day spent away from work. The best part of it was that we couldn't use our mobile phones, so for two days we were effectively cut off from the world we knew.
Lunch consisted of a bowl of vegetarian noodles, without traces of fish, shrimp and the like, a saccharine chocolate pastry and some extremely welcome hot coffee. Not a very appetising combination, but it is rather difficult to find vegetarian subsistence in those parts of the world.
We had an entertaining time with a couple of obliging clowns who crafted shapes out of balloons with impeccable skill- they twisted their fingers, turned their wrists, and voila! you had the shape you asked for. One of the mothers, however, complained to us about a bad-tempered clown- "This is not what I asked for!" They posed for pictures with us, and were generally rather amusing. It is a tough job being a clown, if you have to have a smile permanently stuck on your face, no matter how rotten you might be feeling deep within. Is a clown allowed to say, "Oh, it's just one of those days!", when he/she feels unreasonably low?
It was a peaceful, happy, long picnic, one that we returned tired, yet rejuvenated, from. You don't get so close to the sky and the clouds everyday. We returned to Singapore in the dark, with a number of memories hoarded away, lost in thought, not exactly looking forward to a new week- but life goes on. Holidays are more precious for their rarity, and that's the way it should be.

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